Category Archives: Wildlife

Wildlife officials want to use drones and peanut butter to help vaccinate PRAIRIE DOGS for PLAGUE ~ GRIZZLY attacks woman near CANADIAN campground west of CALGARY ~ Child in NORTH DAKOTA infected with HANTAVIRUS ~ COLORADO​ confirms WILD RABBIT had TULAREMIA ~ RABID CAT reports from NY & TX.

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Black-footed ferret pursuing prairie dog. Image courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Montana 07/20/16 fastcoexist.com: by Adele Peters – For the endangered black-footed ferret—an adorable if vicious predator that lives in prairies—one of the biggest threats to survival is the bubonic plague, which is wiping out their prey: prairie dogs. To help, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hopes to start using drones to spray candy-sized snacks, filled with plague vaccine, across prairie dog colonies. Without the prairie dogs, the ferrets can’t survive; the dogs are both a food source and a source of a burrow .  .  .  The location, the UL Bend National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern Montana, is an ideal test site. It’s remote and far from air traffic, so drones wouldn’t interfere with planes. If it works, the technique might eventually be used in some of the other 27 sites where ferrets have been reintroduced. – For complete article and photos see http://www.fastcoexist.com/3061955/wildlife-officials-want-to-use-drones-to-shoot-peanut-butter-snacks-at-prairie-dogs

Bear Attack:

CANADA:

Brown_Bear_-_Ursus_Arctos_600Alberta 07/19/16 http://calgary.ctvnews.ca/: by Colleen Schmidt  – RCMP and emergency crews were called out to a bear attack near the Trapper’s Hill Campground west of Calgary on Tuesday afternoon. Police received a call about a bear complaint at about 12:00 p.m. Tuesday and dispatched members to the scene to investigate. A woman and her boyfriend were having a picnic down by Ghost River and witnesses say they came face-to-face with a grizzly and her cubs. Coleman Blair’s father owns a campground in the area and he was driving when he saw the couple being chased by the bear through the river. Blair rushed in to help and says by that time the bear had the woman’s arm in its mouth but he was able to pry its teeth open.

He says the bear could have done more damage to her if it wanted to and that he believes it was warning her. “If the bear wanted to do some damage, I mean they’d both be dead. It was, in bear talk, more of a warning, a gentle warning, a bite like that, it wasn’t serious in that kind of regard but yeah they got a warning and it happens quick, that’s what people need to understand, it’s not, you don’t have time to get your bear spray out or take your time, it happens right now, they’re already on top of you, they’re fast,” he said. The woman was taken to hospital and is in stable condition. The investigation has been turned over to Fish and Wildlife and they have closed Township Road 270 and are moving campers out of the affected area. – For video see http://calgary.ctvnews.ca/woman-injured-in-bear-attack-west-of-calgary-1.2993337

Hantavirus:

imagesCAULAVUQNorth Dakota 07/20/16 http://bismarcktribune.com/news: by Blair Emerson – A school-age child in northeast North Dakota has been infected by hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, a rare, but potentially fatal disease, spread by infected rodent droppings, urine and saliva, the state Health Department reported Wednesday. The child, who was hospitalized, was in contact with rodent-infested buildings, according to a news release.  “This case serves as a reminder for people to be mindful of the presence or evidence of rodents when cleaning a house, barn or other building, especially in rural areas,” said Jill Baber, epidemiologist with the Health Department’s division of Disease Control. “It is important to avoid actions that raise dust, such as sweeping or vacuuming, if signs of rodents are present.” There have only been 15 cases of hantavirus in the state since 1993, seven of which were fatal. Nationally, as of Jan. 6, about 690 cases have been reported and 36 percent of these cases resulted in death. – See http://bismarcktribune.com/news/local/health/school-age-child-infected-with-hantavirus/article_ebc39e4a-3939-5ad7-a54a-35f55da2b677.html

Tularemia aka Rabbit Fever:

tularemia.332oe998Colorado 07/18/16/ krdo.com/news/: by Chris Loveless – Rabbit fever has again been confirmed in Pueblo County. A rabbit that was collected from the Hatchet Ranch area in the southwestern part of the county has tested positive for Tularemia. “Pueblo residents are advised that tularemia-causing bacteria may be present in some of the mammals – especially rabbits, rodents and hares, and on the ground where these animals may be active,” said Vicki Carlton, program manager in the Environmental Health and Emergency Preparedness division at the Pueblo City-County Health Department. “Although there are no human cases of tularemia identified in Pueblo so far this year, Colorado has experienced human tularemia cases in people who have been exposed to contaminated soil, drinking contaminated water or inhaling bacteria,” she said. – For complete article see http://www.krdo.com/news/Pueblo-County-rabbit-tests-positive-for-Tularemia/40732732

Rabies:

rabidcat.niagractyhealthdeptNew York 07/20/16 niagara-gazette.com/news: A cat that attacked a woman and her dog on July 13 on Demler Drive in Wheatfield has tested positive for rabies, according to the Niagara County Health Department. The woman, who sustained multiple bites and scratches, is undergoing treatment to prevent rabies infection. That treatment includes post-exposure treatment of immune globulin injection at the site of the bite along with a series of four rabies vaccine injections in the arm muscle (deltoid) over a 14-day period. The cat was humanely euthanized. Anyone who may have had contact with the white, grey and black cat on or before July 13 is being asked to call the Niagara County Department of Health Environmental Division at 439-7444. – See http://www.niagara-gazette.com/news/local_news/cat-that-attacked-woman-in-wheatfield-had-rabies/article_e20f1eb4-4e0f-11e6-8c31-5bba39688a84.html

Texas 07/15/16 .ksla.com: The Animal Control Officer in DeKalb has issued an alert advising residents to have pets vaccinated for rabies after a woman was bitten by a cat on her own property and the cat has since tested positive for the virus. – See http://www.ksla.com/story/32457796/etx-city-on-alert-for-rabies-after-woman-bitten-by-cat-gets-infected

MONTANAN killed by BEAR in Flathead National Forest ~ Hiker attacked by GRIZZLY in ALASKA’s Denali National Park ~ NEW MEXICO confirms fourth HANTAVIRUS fatality this year ~ ARIZONAN dies of TULAREMIA ~ CDC data for 2014 indicates MAINE is worst state for LYME DISEASE ~ GA RABID DOG report, MD, NJ, NY, NC & SC RABID CAT reports ~ Eleven HORSES down with EEE in FLORIDA.

 

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Montana 06/26/16 kbzk.com: By Dax VanFossen – Wildlife officials and law enforcement officers are continuing to search for a bear or bears that attacked and killed a 38 year old West Glacier resident on his bicycle on Wednesday near the town of West Glacier. The attack on the pair of bicyclists took place about a mile up the trail leading to Half Moon Lake, and according to Flathead County Undersheriff Dave Lieb, it was a very sudden attack. The victim has been identified at Brad Treat of West Glacier, a career law enforcement officer with the Flathead National Forest. It appears that Treat and his companion surprised the bear on the trail which may have led to the attack. A press release from Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry says that Treat was “taken off his bike” by the bear, and was pronounced dead on the scene. The second rider was able to escape the area to get help and was not injured or involved in the attack.  Authorities are asking visitors and area residents to stay out of the area until the bear in question is captured.  Initially, authorities believed it was a grizzly bear that attacked, but now are not certain whether it was a grizzly or a black bear. – For video and complete article see http://www.kbzk.com/story/32340403/multiple-people-attacked-by-grizzly-bear-near-west-glacier

grizzly56578BingFULAlaska 07/03/16 newsminer.com: by Weston Morrow – A hiker was bitten by a grizzly bear on the Savage River Alpine Trail on Friday, the same day Denali National Park staff reopened the Savage River area from earlier bear closures. The hiker, 28-year-old Fangyuan Zhou, was hiking the trail along with two friends when they encountered an adolescent grizzly bear about one-quarter mile from the trailhead. Zhou’s group had seen the bear earlier and made efforts to avoid it, but when the bear charged them they played dead. The bear bit and scratched Zhou before walking away. It returned several minutes later, but a group member was able to scare it off by throwing rocks in its direction. National Park Service staff provided Zhou with initial medical care, but Zhou chose to take herself to a hospital in Anchorage for additional treatment. The bear that bit and scratched Zhou was one of the same bears involved in several other incidents in the Savage River area in the last two weeks. Those earlier incidents caused park staff to close much of the Savage River area near 15 Mile Denali Park Road on June 24. – For complete article see http://www.newsminer.com/mobile/grizzly-bites-hiker-at-denali-national-park/article_9a60c0ea-40bd-11e6-a4d6-b782070bf083.html

Hantavirus :

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Deer mouse.

New Mexico 06/30/16 abqjournal.com: by Olivier Uyttebrouck – A 20-year-old Torrance County woman has died of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome — the state’s sixth case and fourth death this year from the viral illness, the New Mexico Department of Health announced today. Hantavirus infection is a deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings or saliva. People can contract the disease when they breathe in aerosolized virus. The deer mouse is the main carrier for Sin Nombre virus, the hantavirus strain found in New Mexico. Deer mice can be found throughout New Mexico, said Dr. Paul Ettestad, the department’s public health veterinarian. “Cleaning up rodent droppings and nesting material in enclosed spaces can concentrate the virus in stirred up particles that can be breathed in, so people need to be very careful when cleaning up mouse-infested areas,” Ettestad said. “Using a disinfectant spray on areas with rodent droppings and waiting 15 or 20 minutes before cleaning will kill the virus and decrease your risk.” – For complete article see http://www.abqjournal.com/801259/nm-reports-fourth-hantavirus-death.html

Tularemia:

zoonosis_tularemia (2)Arizona 07/08/16 http://azdailysun.com/: by Emery Cowan – An individual in the Flagstaff area who contracted tularemia, also known as rabbit fever or deer fly fever, has died from the illness, the Coconino County public health department announced Thursday. This is the first confirmed case of tularemia in Coconino County this year and the first fatal case in more than a decade. There have been four human cases of tularemia in Coconino County since 2005, two confirmed cases in 2005 and two in 2015, none of which were fatal. Tularemia is a bacterial disease that infects rabbits and other mammals. It does not spread from person to person but can be transmitted to humans through the skinning and cleaning of game animals, usually rabbits, through deer fly and tick bites, by eating or drinking contaminated food or water or by pets who have contracted the disease. In Arizona, tularemia activity occurs at elevations above 3,000 feet. The disease can be severe and fatal if not treated properly and immediately with antibiotic therapy. – For complete article see http://azdailysun.com/news/local/rabbit-fever-death-confirmed-in-coconino-county/article_f00711cf-ff4a-5ef3-8622-1bba095b05bc.html

Lyme Disease:

1553355554National 07/02/16 http://247wallst.com/ by Samuel Stebbins  – Lyme Disease is a debilitating, sometimes deadly infection, transmitted to humans through bites of blacklegged ticks, commonly known as deer ticks. Lyme disease typically induces flu-like symptoms, including sore joints, and headaches. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates, 300,000 Americans are infected with Lyme  disease each year. In the last 10 years, Lyme disease has been diagnosed in every state except for Hawaii. However, 96% of all confirmed cases of Lyme were isolated to only 14 states in 2014. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed CDC data on confirmed cases of the disease to determine the worst states in the country for Lyme disease. In Maine, there were 87.9 confirmed cases of Lyme disease for every 100,000 state residents, the most of any state and more than 11 times the nationwide diagnosis rate of 7.9 cases per 100,000 Americans.  – For video, complete article and link to the 12 worst states for Lyme Disease see http://247wallst.com/special-report/2016/07/02/the-states-with-the-most-lyme-disease/

Rabies:

78483649Georgia 07/05/16 dawsonnews.com: by Michele Hester – A Dawson County woman is receiving treatment after being bitten by a rabid dog June 24. County officials confirmed the rabies case June 29, saying the public should not be alarmed as the dog in question has been euthanized. “The Georgia Public Health Laboratory tested brain tissue from the dog for the presence of the rabies virus,” said Bill Ringle with the department of public health. Two other dogs belonging to the same owner were also put down as a precaution, according to Dawson County Commission Chairman Mike Berg. “The two other dogs came back negative for rabies,” he said. Ringle said the decision to euthanize the two dogs was made “because one had injuries from when it was attacked by the confirmed rabid dog and the other dog had a leg injury that could not be accounted for.” None of the three dogs had been vaccinated for rabies, according to Ringle. – See http://www.dawsonnews.com/section/1/article/18946

New Jersey 07/06/16 newjerseyhills.com:  A black stray adult female cat with an injured rear leg, which lived in the area of Old Highway 22 between New and , tested positive for rabies on Tuesday, July 5, according to the Clinton Police. Area residents who may have had contact with this cat at any time between June 15 to June 29 should notify their primary care physician immediately or the Hunterdon Medical Center Emergency Room to discuss concerns regarding possible exposure and the need for post-exposure prophylaxis treatment. – See http://www.newjerseyhills.com/hunterdon_review/news/stray-female-cat-tests-positive-for-rabies-police-say/article_9af2b718-0edf-51fd-bbec-a34e26e96ad9.html

5731289-very-cute-child-with-a-cat-in-armsMaryland 06/30/16 oceancitytoday: By Katie Tabeling – Worcester County Health officials are reminding residents to exercise caution with wild and feral animals following the discovery of a rabies-infected cat prowling around West Ocean City last month. The cat was found at Ocean Village at Old Bridge, a townhouse community on Old Bridge Road on June 11. According to county officials, the small orange and white tabby feline was being fed as part of a colony of cats at the property. “The cat appeared [to be] sick to a Good Samaritan, and it was taken to a veterinary office for treatment,” said Angela Richardson, the environmental sanitarian with the health department. “The veterinarian determined the cat’s symptoms were indicative of rabies.” The feline exhibited neurologic deficits, was dragging a hind leg and was aggressive when handled. After a preliminary diagnosis, the veterinarian reported to the Worcester County Environmental Health and requested rabies testing. Public officials confirmed that the cat tested positive and was later euthanized. Richardson said that the cat bit or scratched three people when it was handled. – For complete article see http://www.oceancitytoday.net/p/rabid-cat-caught-in-west-ocean-city-neighborhood/1543527

New York 07/01/16 recordonline.com: by Amanda Loviza-Vickery – A cat in the Town of Bethel has tested positive for rabies, prompting Sullivan County Public Health Services to remind residents to take precautions to protect themselves and their pets. The household cat, which spent time indoors and outdoors, is the second confirmed case of rabies in Sullivan County this year. Domestic animals account for less than 10 percent of reported rabies cases, but when they are not vaccinated and are allowed to roam freely, pets can be exposed to rabies by wild animals, Public Health Services said. Keep pets up to date on rabies vaccinations, and don’t leave them outside unattended, the department said. Don’t try to separate two fighting animals, and wear gloves to handle a pet after a fight. Keep property free of bird seed and food garbage that could attract wild animals. Don’t feed, touch, or adopt wild animals, don’t allow children to do so. – See http://www.recordonline.com/news/20160701/bethel-cat-tests-positive-for-rabies

Looking-for-Kittens-001North Carolina 07/07/16 fayobserver.com: by Chick Jacobs – The State Public Health Lab in Raleigh today reported a positive rabies result in a kitten from Cumberland County. It was the fifth positive case in the county this year. Animal Control picked up a kitten Wednesday at the Animal Hospital of Fayetteville on Fort Bragg Road. The kitten, approximately 4 months old, got into an alteration with an unknown animal sometime around May 25. The owner took the kitten to the Animal Hospital of Fayetteville for treatment of bite wounds to the rear limb and a fractured tibia. Veterinarian staff reported that neurological symptoms appeared Monday or Tuesday. The kitten’s owner resides on Pecan Drive, off McPherson Avenue, in Fayetteville. Animal Control has notified eight people that they must receive rabies post-exposure treatment. The owner and three employees of the animal hospital were bitten or scratched. Two other employees, the owner’s roommate and a friend also handled the cat. – See http://www.fayobserver.com/news/local/kitten-has-rabies-people-possibly-exposed/article_a0a8e4b6-c24d-565e-98c1-e7f1e254cd96.html

South Carolina 06/29/16 http://outbreaknewstoday.com/: One person has started post-exposure treatment after potentially being exposed to rabies near the Town of West Union by a stray cat that tested positive for the disease, the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) reported today.  The victim was attacked and potentially exposed to rabies by the stray cat on June 22, 2016. The cat was submitted to DHEC’s laboratory for testing on June 24 and was confirmed to have rabies on June 27. – See http://outbreaknewstoday.com/south-carolina-stray-cat-that-attacks-person-is-rabies-positive-13804/

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE):

d98b45080e6bba0549d1647bc320576aFlorida 07/06/16 http://outbreaknewstoday.com/: by Robert Herriman – The Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC) reported on July 5, a new EEE case was confirmed in Jefferson County, Florida. The 1 year old colt had received one previous vaccine against EEE and had no recent travel history. Clinical signs began on June 24 and the horse was euthanized for humane reasons the following day. To date, eleven confirmed EEE cases have been reported in Florida in six counties– Jefferson (2), Osceola (2), Palm Beach (1), Polk (4), Walton (1) and Washington (1). No human EEE cases have been reported in Florida this year to date. For complete article see http://outbreaknewstoday.com/eastern-equine-encephalitis-in-florida-11-horses-affected-to-date-57098/

COLORADO toddler attacked by MOUNTAIN LION in backyard ~ Officials warn of SQUIRRELS carrying PLAGUE at two CALIFORNIA campgrounds ~ CONNECTICUTT and SOUTH CAROLINA report CATS with RABIES ~ NIH gives UT $11 million to study CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE.

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Colorado 06/22/16 starherald.com:  As he raced to the hospital with his injured son in his car, a Colorado father called 911 to let emergency room staff know to prepare for something unusual. “I am driving from Lower River Road to (the) emergency room. My 5-year-old has got attacked by (a) mountain lion,” Val Loboda told the dispatcher, speaking quickly but calmly. The Pitkin County Sheriff’s office released the recording of the 911 call days after Friday’s attack outside Loboda’s home in a low-rise block of apartments squeezed between a major road and a river on a mountainside about 10 miles northwest of Aspen. The sheriff’s office released its report Wednesday, identifying the family for the first time. Yuri Loboda and his older brother were playing outside when the mountain lion attacked. Alerted by her older son, Anastasia Yukhtenko ran outside, snatched Yuri’s head from the cat’s jaws. She scooped up the child and ran with him. Loboda then returned from his run and set out with his family for the hospital. In a series of brief 911 calls that were repeatedly cut off, Loboda said he “just wanted to give you a heads up to get ready.” Neither Loboda nor Yukhtenko immediately responded to calls from The Associated Press on Wednesday requesting comment. Earlier this week, they released a statement through a Denver hospital where Yuri was taken with deep but not life-threatening cuts to his head, face and neck after initial treatment in Aspen. They said then that he was improving and they requested privacy. A Pitkin County sheriff’s officer had praised Yukhtenko as a hero. She suffered scratches and bites. – For complete article see http://www.C/news/regional_statewide/son-attacked-by-mountain-lion-dad-tells-er-to-prepare/article_a2c2b738-38d0-11e6-8d55-372d92dc2e4b.html

Bubonic Plague:

California_Ground_Squirrel_Dana_Point_Harbor_2007_2California 06/28/16 http://www.pe.com: by Alex Groves – Ground squirrels from two campground sites in the San Jacinto Mountains tested positive for plague earlier this month, prompting Riverside County officials to encourage precautions. Squirrels from both Dark Canyon Campground and Marion Mountain Campground had antibodies which showed they had been exposed to the disease, according to a news release from the Riverside County Department of Environmental Health. The squirrels from Dark Canyon were tested June 8 and the squirrels from Marion Mountain were tested June 13, officials said. County officials consider the risk to the public low and the two campsites will remain open as they conduct follow up investigations, according to the county release. “If I had reservations for those campgrounds, I would still go camping,’ said Dottie Merki, program chief for the Riverside County Environmental health. “But I would definitely take the precautions.” Those include keeping tents away from rodent burrows, not feeding or interacting with wild animals and keeping pets on a leash or even leaving them home. John Miller, spokesman for San Bernardino National Forest — which operates both campgrounds — said that even though county officials have not made any recommendations that the campgrounds be closed, National Forest employees are prepared for that possibility. In the meantime, he said, signs have been posted advising campers of the discovery. – For complete article see http://www.pe.com/articles/prompting-806935-jacinto-riverside.html

Rabies:

cat-child445778Connecticutt 06/25/16 http://connecticut.cbslocal.com/: The Hartford Police Department and Department of Health and Human Services are notifying residents that a stray cat recently tested positive for rabies in the Blue Hills neighborhood of Hartford. The stray cat was captured and tested positive for rabies after biting two individuals who had been feeding the stray cat. Both individuals received appropriate medical treatment. – For complete article see http://connecticut.cbslocal.com/2016/06/25/captured-stray-cat-tests-positive-for-rabies/

IMG4336e-L-001South Carolina 06/28/16 http://www.wfxg.com/: By Amanda Shaw – Some residents in Oconee County are being asked to make sure their pets are up to date on veterinary checks and vaccinations. The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office said a rabid cat was discovered near Main Street and Torrington Road in West Union recently. Deputies said the infected cat was captured and euthanized. – See http://www.wfxg.com/story/32328417/rabid-cat-in-west-union-prompts-call-for-pet-vaccinations

nih.logo_.thumb_National 06/29/16 eurekalert.org: Media Release –  Led by Claudio Soto, Ph.D., researchers from McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) have been awarded $11 million from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to study the pathogenesis, transmission and detection of prion diseases – such as chronic wasting disease in deer – that can potentially spread to humans. Soto will explore the zoonotic – the ability to transfer from animal to human – potential of CWD and factors that may alter the resistance of humans to that transfer. His team at McGovern Medical School will also investigate the possibility that prions accumulate in the environment in plants and other surfaces where they may concentrate and remain infectious for years. Prions are the protein-based infectious agents responsible for a group of diseases called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, CYN05aiUAAAkKOLwhich includes bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease) in cattle, scrapie in sheep, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans and chronic wasting disease (CWD) in deer, elk and moose. All are fatal brain diseases with incubation periods that last years or even decades. “Prion diseases are rare but because of their incurability, lethality and potential to spread from animals to humans, we need to better understand them from how they replicate to the development of efficient detection methods,” said Soto, principal investigator and director of The George and Cynthia Mitchell Center for Research in Alzheimer’s disease and Related Brain Disorders. – For complete release see http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-06/uoth-na062916.php

NEW YORK couple attacked by RABID BOBCAT ~ Another BOBCAT in NEW YORK tests positive for RABIES ~ Researchers discover how WEST NILE VIRUS triggers memory loss ~ Case of ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER in MICHIGAN first since 2009.

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Bobcat. Courtesy National Park Service.

New York 06/23/16 timesunion.com: By Lindsay Ellis – A bobcat attack in New Scotland left a husband and wife with deep cuts Wednesday afternoon, Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said. Both are being treated for non-life threatening injuries at St. Peter’s Hospital. A deputy responded to Rock Hill Road at about 4 p.m., where a man and woman were bleeding and a bobcat was shot dead on a house’s deck, Apple said. The woman, sitting outside a neighbor’s house, had heard a hissing noise, Apple said. The bobcat then lunged to bite her multiple times in the arms and legs. Her husband, hearing screaming, left the neighbor’s house, and the animal bit him multiple times. The homeowner, after trying to pin down the bobcat, shot it in the head, Apple said. Apple called the attack “an extremely atypical incident.” – See http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Bobcat-attacks-New-Scotland-couple-is-then-shot-8319752.php

Author’s Note: According to Spotlight News ” A necropsy was performed Thursday morning at the DEC’s Wildlife Health Unit at the Wildlife Resources Center in Delmar; the adult male bobcat smelled of skunk spray and its face was covered in porcupine quills. Its head was sent to the NYS Rabies Lab at Wadsworth Lab in Guilderland, where it tested positive for the disease (rabies).” – See http://spotlightnews.com/news/2016/06/23/new-scotland-couple-attacked-by-rabid-bobcat/

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Bobcat. Courtesy National Park Service.

New York 06/22/16 wbng.com/news: A Bobcat has tested positive for rabies in the town of Tompkins, Delaware County. This is the first animal that has positive for rabies in 2016, according to Delaware County Public Health Services. According to a news release, the Bobcat was sent to NYS State Rabies Laboratory for testing. The positive test results were received Thursday June 22, 2016, 2016. There was no human exposure, officials said. – See http://www.wbng.com/news/local/Bobcat-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-Delaware-County-384014311.html

West Nile Virus (WNV):

breakingnews-360wNational 06/22/16 http://medicalxpress.com/: Media Release – Researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have discovered how the most severe forms of West Nile virus cause memory loss and mood disorders, opening the door to potential new treatments for the mosquito-borne illness. The study, published in the journal Nature, says 50 percent of patients who survive the most damaging kind of West Nile infection often go on to develop memory loss, learning difficulties, a lack of concentration and irritability. Exactly why this happens has been a mystery until now. Researchers discovered that the virus doesn’t kill off neurons but sparks inflammation that prunes synapses, the connections that carry messages between nerve cells. “What we found in mice, and later confirmed in humans, is that it’s not the death of cells that causes memory loss, it’s the loss of nerve cell connections,” said study co-author Kenneth Tyler, MD, chairman of the department of neurology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. “The viral infection activates microglial cells and complement pathways which are helping to fight the infection but in turn end up destroying synapses.” – For complete release see http://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-06-west-nile-virus-triggers-memory.html

Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF):

P_infectionK_rockymount_01 (2)Michigan 06/21/16 healthline.com:  by Emily Gadd  –  Besides sunburn and dehydration, there is another thing for hikers and parents to worry about this summer. Michigan has confirmed  that a child has been diagnosed with the state’s first case of Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) since 2009. RMSF is a tick-borne illness caused by the Rickettsia rickettsii bacterium. Its most distinctive symptom is a red, spotted rash that doesn’t itch. However, not every person who comes down with the infection will get a rash. Other early symptoms include headache, abdominal pain, fever, and confusion. People who receive prompt treatment usually make a full recovery. Untreated,RMSF can cause serious damage to internal organs such as the kidney and heart. Three different types of ticks carry the R. rickettsii bacteria: the American dog tick, the Rocky Mountain wood tick, and the brown dog tick. RMSF is considered a  rare disease, but according to Dr. Dana Hawkinson, an infectious diseases physician at the University of Kansas Hospital, rare is a matter of where you are. – For complete article see http://www.healthline.com/health-news/concerns-resurface-over-rocky-mountain-spotted-fever#1

BLACK BEAR attacks marathon runner in NEW MEXICO ~ COLORADO mother rescues toddler from MOUNTAIN LION ~ NEW MEXICAN dies of HANTAVIRUS ~ First case of CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE confirmed in WYOMING’s STAR VALLEY.

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New Mexico 06/20/16 koat.com: New Mexico Department of Game and Fish conservation officers tracked and killed the bear that attacked a woman running in a marathon Saturday afternoon in the Valles Calderas National Preserve near Los Alamos. The victim apparently surprised a mother bear, whose cub ran up a nearby tree, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish officials said. The woman’s upper body, head and neck were bitten and scratched several times, but her injuries were not considered life-threatening. Her condition was not released. Nearby runners helped the victim until an emergency crew arrived. The victim was airlifted to an Albuquerque area hospital. The bear is to be transported to the state Veterinary Diagnostic Services center for necropsy. State law requires any wild animal that attacks or bites a human be euthanized and tested for rabies which is spread when an infected animal scratches or bites another animal or human.  “It is regrettable when a wildlife encounter results in human injuries and requires we euthanize the animal,” Department Director Alexandra Sandoval said in a statement. “We are thankful that the injuries sustained by the victim were not worse and are hopeful that she is able to recover quickly.” The bear was located not far from where the attack occurred and matches the information given by the victim. The bear was part of a study involving wild bears and was collared with a GPS tracking device which helped Officers confirm the bear’s location at the time of the incident. Officers are confident they caught the right bear. – See http://www.koat.com/news/marathon-runner-injured-in-bear-attack/40126104

Mountain Lion:

Powerful defensive mountain lion guards its kill in the winter snow.

Cougar. Bing Free Use License.

Colorado 06/18/16 cnn.com: by Andreas Preuss – A 5-year-old boy is recovering in a Denver hospital after being attacked by a mountain lion, officials said. The attack happened Friday night about 10 miles northwest of Aspen, Colorado, according to the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office. A man called 911 dispatchers to report that his son had been attacked by a mountain lion and he was driving to the Aspen Valley Hospital, police said in a statement. The boy’s mother told police that the boy was playing outside with his older brother when she heard screams. The mother ran out and “physically removed her son from the mountain lion,” according to the statement. After initial treatment in Aspen, the boy was transferred to Children’s Hospital in Denver. He’s in fair condition with injuries to his face, head and neck. His mother was treated and released for minor injuries to her hand and legs. The family has not been identified. After the attack, deputies and an officer with the U.S. Forest Service located a mountain lion in the area and the animal was put down, police said. Investigators are also looking into reports of a second mountain lion in the area earlier in the day. Though mountain lions are not uncommon in Colorado, sightings are rare. – For video and complete article see http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/18/us/colorado-mountain-lion-attack/index.html

Hantavirus:

Hantavirus-OutbreakNew Mexico 06/14/16 lcsun-news.com: State health officials say a 25-year-old man from McKinley County in western New Mexico has died of hantavirus. The Health Department said Tuesday it marks the state’s fifth case of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome this year. An environmental investigation will be done at the patient’s home to help reduce the risk to others. The patient’s name wasn’t released. Hantavirus is a deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings or saliva. People can contract the disease when they breathe in aerosolized virus. Health officials say the deer mouse is the main carrier for the strain found in New Mexico. Public health veterinarian Paul Etttestad says due to more precipitation, people are seeing a larger than usual number of mice and that’s leading to increased chances of being exposed. – See http://www.lcsun-news.com/story/news/local/new-mexico/2016/06/14/new-mexico-man-25-dies-hantavirus/85872692/

Chronic Wasting Disease:

cwd01deerWyoming 06/15/16 wyomingpublicmedia.org: by Liam Niemeyer – The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has confirmed the first ever case of Chronic Wasting Disease in Star Valley. Chronic Wasting Disease, or CWD, is a fatal brain disease that affects deer, elk and moose. The disease has mostly been reported in southeastern Wyoming, particularly in Albany and Laramie counties, and cases of CWD are relatively rare west of the continental divide. Two other infected deer were also found near Cody this past April. Scott Edberg of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department said the department isn’t sure how the disease reached Star Valley, but the department plans to monitor the deer population there as a precaution. “It’s a very tough disease to control. So our initial plan is to get an idea, keep our eyes on them, and closely monitor the deer in the area where this one was found and see if there are any other deer that are showing the same symptoms,” Edberg said. Animals with the disease often show symptoms like salivating excessively, not running away from humans, having a rough coat and appearing malnourished. There were 98 confirmed cases of CWD in Wyoming last year. – For complete article see http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/first-case-chronic-wasting-disease-confirmed-star-valley

Aggressive MOUNTAIN LION prompts shut-down of CALIFORNIA park ~ ZIKA VIRUS spreading rapidly across PUERTO RICO ~ NANTUCKET residents consider genetically engineered MICE to halt spread of LYME DISEASE ~ HANTAVIRUS claims life of UTAH man ~ NEVADA confirms PLAGUE found at public campground ~ COLORADO confirms FERAL CAT found with BUBONIC PLAGUE.

Mountain-Lion-2-SW

California 06/07/16 mercurynews.com: by Marisa Kendall – Santa Clara County deputies found themselves in an unusual standoff Saturday — instead of waiting for a criminal to emerge from a hideout, they were waiting for a mountain lion to come down from a tree. The Sheriff’s Office evacuated McClellan Ranch Preserve as a precaution after a mountain lion growled at children in the park and then ran up a tree, said Captain Rick Sung. Experts from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife who also responded decided against tranquilizing and relocating the animal. Instead, they waited for the cougar to come down and leave of its own accord — which it did, without incident, after night fell. Sung said he was “very concerned” about the mountain lion’s presence, based on a report from a park visitor that it had behaved aggressively toward local children. The animal was camped out in the branches of a tree near McClellan Road and Club House Lane, across the street from a residential neighborhood. “We had a lot of deputies pretty much surrounding the park area just to make sure our residents are safe,” he said. Sung said there were several hundred children in the park with their families when it was evacuated. While the Sheriff’s Office occasionally receives calls about mountain lion sightings, Sung said it’s rare to hear of an animal displaying aggression. “Usually what it is, is people will see it and the mountain lion will just walk away,” he said. There have been 14 reported mountain lion attacks in California since 1986, including three fatal attacks, according to the Department of Fish and Wildlife. A 6-year-old boy was attacked near the Picchetti Winery in Cupertino in 2014 and survived. – For video and complete article see http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_29981034/mountain-lion-prompts-park-evacuation-near-cupertino

Zika Virus –

dt_160309_puerto_rico_map_zika_mosquito_800x600Puerto Rico 06/08/16 wsj.com: by Betsy McKay – The Zika virus is creeping north toward the continental U.S., and Alberto de la Vega has started to detect its signs. In ultrasounds he gives pregnant women who are infected with the virus in this American territory, he has seen a 22-week-old fetus with serious brain damage and two others with stunted growth. He is bracing for more. “If you ask me in a month,” says Dr. de la Vega, an obstetrician-gynecologist and chief of a high-risk-pregnancy unit at the capital’s University Hospital, “we may have 10 times the detection rate.” Zika has blanketed three-quarters of this lush island over the past six months, say health authorities, who expect it to keep spreading now that it is prime mosquito season. More than 1,350 people have tested positive for Zika since the beginning of the epidemic here, including 168 pregnant women. One patient died. Thousands more are likely infected without symptoms, health authorities say. Puerto Rico’s battle with Zika is giving local and U.S. health authorities a rare chance to better understand the disease as it makes its relentless march across the Americas. The island has advantages over Latin American and Caribbean nations that lack its modern medical system. It has strong public-health surveillance and anticipated Zika’s arrival, unlike Brazil, where the virus spread unnoticed for months. – For complete article see http://www.wsj.com/articles/zika-swamps-embattled-puerto-rico-1465395531

Lyme Disease –

Tick-Infested-Area-500Massachusetts 06/07/16 statnews.com: by Ike Swetlitz – Nantucket – This exclusive summer playground could become the site of an unprecedented experiment to combat Lyme disease by releasing genetically modified mice on the island. Nantucket boasts some of the highest Lyme infection rates in the country, and the idea unveiled Monday would involve modifying the genes of tens of thousands of mice to keep them from spreading the Lyme bacterium to ticks, which in turn infect people. Any release is years away, but an MIT professor presented the idea to the Nantucket board of health and an audience of about 20 residents and scientists, who were broadly favorable. If the project is realized, it might be the first release into the wild of animals modified with the cutting-edge gene-editing technique CRISPR. Other types of gene-editing have been used, for instance, to make farmed salmon grow faster and to make disease-carrying mosquitoes unable to reproduce. “This is something new,” said Kevin Esvelt, assistant professor at the MIT Media Lab and the project’s organizer. “We are considering deliberate alteration of the local environment.” Lyme disease is a significant problem for residents of Nantucket: The island had the highest rate of Lyme of any county in the US from 1992 to 2001, and finished in third place from 2002 to 2006, according to government data. – For complete article see https://www.statnews.com/2016/06/07/nantucket-lyme-genetic-engineering/

Hantavirus –

892008Utah 06/02/16 sltrib.com: by Bob Mims – State health officials say that a Utah man died after exposure to hantavirus last month. Medical privacy policies prohibited release of the man’s identity, but Utah Department of Health spokesman Tom Hudachko did confirm Thursday that the victim was between the ages of 45 and 64, and that he died in late May. “I can’t provide anything more specific than that,” he said. “We’ve worked with the family to provide information on how to safely clean rodent droppings from properties they frequent.” Rats, mice, and other burrowing and nesting rodents are known to carry the deadly disease, which can be spread to humans through contact with the animals’ urine, saliva, or feces. Hudachko said his agency now has recorded six hantavirus-related fatalities in Utah since 2009. – See http://www.sltrib.com/news/3959672-155/state-health-officials-confirm-may-hantavirus

Bubonic Plague –

Nevada 06/08/16 http://myfox8.com/: A flea from a yellow chipmunk in the Lake Tahoe area tested positive for plagueUSA Today reports. On Tuesday, the Lake Tahoe Basin Unit of the Forest Service, El Dorado County, Calif., officials and the California Department of Public Health reported they confirmed the presence of plague in the flea taken from Fallen Leaf Campground. The campground is about a quarter mile north of Fallen Leaf Lake in South Lake Tahoe. – For complete article see http://myfox8.com/2016/06/08/bubonic-plague-detected-at-lake-tahoe-area-campground/

2006-06jun-tigger-plus-mouse2Colorado 06/02/16 nbc11news.com:  The Delta County Health Department is warning residents of plague after a feral cat tested positive for the disease over the Memorial Day weekend. Health officials said the cat was found on Hanson Road near Cedaredge, then taken to Surface Creek Veterinary Center where it tested positive for plague before being euthanized. Officials said this is the first plague activity detected this season. “Plague is commonly transmitted by fleas, so taking steps to avoid fleas will help prevent spread of the disease,” said Ken Nordstrom, Delta County Health Department Environmental Health Director. – See http://www.nbc11news.com/content/news/Plague-found-in-Delta-County-health-officials-say-381664391.html

CANADIAN toddler attacked by MOUNTAIN LION ~ Texan hunting moose in ALASKA mauled by BROWN BEAR ~ CANADIAN sheep hunter attacked by GRIZZLY ~ CA, MD, MI, MO and OK confirm WEST NILE VIRUS fatalities ~ COLORADO reports two more human cases of TULAREMIA ~ NEW MEXICO reports fourth human case of PLAGUE ~ More DEER escape from WISCONSIN farm where CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE was found ~ Second CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE-infected deer in TEXAS breeder herd confirmed ~ RABIES reports from PA, SC, VA & WV. ~ ANNOUNCEMENT – Natural Unseen Hazards Blog will not be published for several months

Mountain Lion. Courtesy U.S. Dept of Agriculture

Mountain Lion. Courtesy U.S. Dept of Agriculture

Canada:

British Columbia 09/21/15 vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca: A two-year-old girl sitting with her parents in deck chairs in their backyard on Vancouver Island last Monday was attacked by a mountain lion that pounced on her from behind. The cat released the child when her father punched it. The girl was treated for lacerations on her earlobe, chest and back. – For photos and article see http://vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca/b-c-dad-slugs-cougar-that-attacked-two-year-old-daughter-1.2574512

Bear Attack:

887897spNPSAlaska 09/23/15 abcnews.go.com: by Rachel D’Oro – A Texas man who was mauled by a brown bear while moose hunting in Alaska was expected to survive serious injuries, authorities said Wednesday. The bear with two cubs attacked 47-year-old Gregory Joseph Matthews of Plano, Texas, as he hunted Tuesday with his brother in Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, authorities said. Fishermen in the area alerted Alaska State Troopers shortly after 6 p.m. and Matthews was flown to Central Peninsula Hospital in nearby Soldotna. Matthews was listed in good condition Wednesday. He declined requests from The Associated Press for an interview. It was the third bear attack on the Kenai Peninsula in recent weeks. – For complete article see http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/brown-bear-cubs-mauls-texas-moose-hunter-alaska-33980023

Canada:

British Columbia 09/24/15 prpeak.com: by Chris Bolster – Conservation officers are searching for a bear responsible for sending a 51-year-old man to hospital in the early hours of Thursday, September 24. Powell River RCMP have confirmed that a man walking his dog on the 4700 block of Redonda Avenue, behind the Town Centre Mall, was attacked by a bear at approximately 5:30 am. The man sustained only minor injuries in the attack and did not require BC Ambulance Service paramedics to transport him to Powell River General Hospital, Constable Tim Kenning told the Peak at 9 am. Kenning said that the unnamed man told him “the bear came out of nowhere. “He stepped in trying to protect his animal, thinking the bear was going after his dog,” said Kenning. “Next thing he knew he was on the ground with a bear on top of him.” Kenning added that a neighbour came out to see what happening after hearing the man yell and saw the bear and two cubs running away. The attack likely occurred because the bear was protecting its two cubs, said Kenning. – See http://www.prpeak.com/articles/2015/09/24/news/doc560430aba9e53331700834.txt

grizzly5Alberta 09/22/15 edmontonsun.com: by Trevor Robb – An Alberta hunter was sent to hospital over the weekend after being attacked by a grizzly bear near Hinton. Alberta Fish and Wildlife spokesperson Michelle Davio said in a statement that a male hunter -who was reportedly legally hunting bighorn sheep in the area — had called the Report-A-Poacher telephone line and 911 at 8 p.m. on Saturday night after he was injured during a confrontation with a female grizzly . Davio says the man suffered undisclosed, non-life threatening injuries when the grizzly charged at him and knocked him over. “The hunter played dead and after the bear stood over the hunter for a moment, the bear moved on,” said Davio. Upon getting the call, Davio says a team consisting of Fish and Wildlife officers, two emergency medical technicians and two civilian guides were deployed to rescue the hunter. However, he was in a remote location near Cadomin, near the Teck mine site, which is approximately 55km south of Hinton, in rugged terrain, which made the hunter not accessible by vehicle. – For complete article see http://www.edmontonsun.com/2015/09/22/hunter-survives-bear-attack-near-hinton

WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV):

07cd7361057a7994e7e590e1fb0d3868ed6ff5ad-1California 09/20/15 loscerritosnews.net: A Norwalk resident is the second person to die of WNV-related causes in Los Angeles County this year. – See http://www.loscerritosnews.net/2015/09/19/norwalk-man-dies-of-west-nile/

Maryland  09/19/15 patch.com: An elderly woman from Laurel in Prince George’s County is the second WNV-related fatality in the state so far this year. There have been 29 human cases of WNV reported this year including two deaths. – See http://patch.com/maryland/bowie/west-nile-virus-cause-laurel-womans-death-icymi-0

Michigan 09/25/15 detroitnews.com: by James David Dickson – An Oakland County woman, 81, has become Michigan’s first West Nile Virus-related death this year, the Oakland County Department of Health announced Friday morning. Oakland County hadn’t suffered a West Nile-related virus death since 2003.  – See http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/oakland-county/2015/09/25/west-nile/72796238/

Missouri 09/19/15 stltoday.com: Officials have confirmed three WNV-related deaths: two in St. Louis County and one in Pettis County. – See http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/health/two-deaths-in-st-louis-area-from-west-nile-virus/article_95ff8dba-bf77-55e7-91f2-8c201e41ffd9.html

Oklahoma 09/24/15 newsok.com: The Oklahoma State Department of Health is reporting the fourth West Nile virus death of 2015 in the state. The department says the latest death was a Kingfisher County resident. Previous deaths were reported in Rogers, Stephens and Carter counties. There have now been 53 confirmed cases of West Nile virus in Oklahoma this year — up from 18 in 2014 when there were no deaths due to the virus. – See http://newsok.com/oklahoma-has-4th-death-of-year-due-to-west-nile-virus/article/5449060

TULAREMIA (RABBIT FEVER):

tularemia.332oe998Colorado 09/22/15 canyoncourier.com: Two more human cases of tularemia have been reported in Jefferson and Clear Creek counties. – See http://www.canyoncourier.com/content/tularemia-surfaces-jeffco-clear-creek

PLAGUE:

Santa_Fe_attacks_plagu48f91501New Mexico 09/23/15 kcbd.com: The New Mexico Department of Health announced today a laboratory confirmed case of plague in a 73-year-old woman from Santa Fe County. The case was confirmed at the Department of Health’s Scientific Laboratory Division.  This is the fourth human case of plague in New Mexico this year and the second in Santa Fe County.  The woman was hospitalized and is back home recovering. The other cases in the state occurred in a 52-year-old woman from Santa Fe County, who died from the illness, and in a 65-year-old man and a 59-year-old woman, both from Bernalillo County, who have recovered. – For complete article see http://www.kcbd.com/story/30100644/human-plague-case-confirmed-in-santa-fe-county

CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE (CWD):

HEADERWisconsin 09/18/15 wqow.com: by Keith Edwards –  A concern about chronic wasting disease in Eau Claire County is growing, after more deer escaped from a deer farm near Fairchild where CWD was found.  Officials confirmed on Friday that 12 deer escaped early last week from the farm. The DNR said they reportedly got out through (an) open gate. Most were captured, but three remain missing in addition to the two deer that escaped in May. The DNR said the public and media were not immediately notified of the most recent escape because they give the owner a reasonable amount of time to try to find them on his own. The DNR is now asking residents around Fairchild and Augusta to report any sightings of the deer, which all have ear tags.  After the first escape, the DNR planned to kill all of the deer at the farm to prevent any possible spread of CWD, which hasn’t happened yet due to a shortage of funding. More federal money is expected to be available Oct. 1.  – See video at http://www.wqow.com/story/30065987/2015/09/18/more-deer-escape-from-farm-where-cwd-found

Texas 09/23/15 wilsoncountynews.com: The Texas Animal Health Commission and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department announced that a captive white-tailed deer in a Lavaca County deer breeding facility has been confirmed positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). The Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory in College Station detected the presence of CWD in samples submitted, and the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, confirmed the findings Sept. 15. The newly quarantined Lavaca County facility is a result of testing trace out animals that originated from a Medina County index captive white-tailed deer herd where the disease was first detected June 30. CWD was first detected in Texas in 2012 in free-ranging mule deer in far West Texas in the Hueco Mountains. The Lavaca County herd is the second infected breeder herd detected in Texas. – See http://www.wilsoncountynews.com/article.php?id=68201&n=section-general-news-cwd-confirmed-lavaca-county

RABIES:

imagesCAMMOSTLPennsylvania 09/24/15 Allegheny County: Members of an entire family in Wilmerding that took in two stray kittens are now being treated for potential exposure to rabies after the kittens tested positive for the virus. – See http://www.wpxi.com/news/news/local/kittens-test-positive-rabies-wilmerding-family-pos/nnm8R/

South Carolina 09/18/15 Spartanburg County: Six people in the Woodruff area have been potentially exposed to rabies because the family cat’s rabies vaccination was not current. The cat had been wounded but was not immediately taken to a veterinarian until it had bitten five family members and one other individual. On September 15th the cat tested positive for the rabies virus. – See http://www.wyff4.com/news/cat-exposed-6-people-to-rabies-in-upstate/35351186

Virginia 09/23/15 Virginia Beach: Four people who were in contact with a black and white cat at the Virginia Beach Sports Complex on Landstown Road are being treated for potential exposure to rabies after the cat tested positive for the virus. – See http://wtkr.com/2015/09/23/rabid-cat-found-at-virginia-beach-sports-complex/

West Virginia 09/21/15 Ohio County: A kitten dropped off at Long Run Pet Hospital on GC&P Road in Wheeling has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.wtov9.com/shared/news/features/top-stories/stories/wtov_cat-tests-positive-rabies-ohio-county-10275.shtml

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~ ANNOUNCEMENT ~~~

With the possible exception of very unusual

reports, such as a rabid human attacking

a grizzly in downtown Manhattan, the

NATURAL UNSEEN HAZARDS

blog will not be published for several months

while its blogger completes a book project.